in the wake of
Client: Natasha Milarose
An underwater earthquake
has cut off our access
to the Control Towers.
Retake them so we can
continue our research.
Reward: ??? Meseta
I've completed my first brand new GC quest, and it pits you against nothing less than Gal Da Val's Control Towers. This quest is intended to serve as a sequel to The East Tower and The West Tower, and as a sequel, it is in between the difficulty of ET/WT and the difficulty of PW4. Do you have what it takes to fulfill the Lab's latest request?
I am also pleased to announce that this quest marks the introduction of a new side quest for GC: if you want, you can play the quest on a bonus difficulty setting (code name: Super Hard ). This difficulty setting plays differently from Ultimate, in that the enemies have more ATP, DFP, and HP than normal, but they also have less ATA, EVP, and resistance. As a result, Techniques are more important here than they are in Ultimate, so having access to Shifta and Zalure is mandatory for most classes and equipment, while using Deband and Jellen is also highly advisable if you want to stay alive. If you're a Hunter or Ranger, you'll find that attacks which used to never work are now possible, and if you're a Force, you'll find that nuking is far more viable than it is in online Ultimate.
Your reward for tackling this bonus feature is that you will receive the same 30% experience bonus that Episode II enemies receive in BB. A secondary reward is also in the works, but until it's ready, you get extra Meseta for beating the side quest. Some of the enemies are more difficult than they are in Ultimate, while other enemies are probably easier, so the point of Super Hard isn't so much to increase or decrease the game's difficulty as it is to provide you with a different kind of difficulty than usual. You'll find that different weapons and tactics are useful in the bonus mode than are useful in Ultimate, so it gives you a chance to play differently than you normally would. I've found that bonus difficulty settings are an excellent way to extend a quest's replay value in Ver.2, so I wanted to try the same thing on GC.
As you might expect, since this is a bonus mode, it is entirely optional: you can of course play the quest in standard Ultimate mode, too. If you play in Ultimate, the only difference you may notice is that Mericarol now gives the correct amount of experience (348 -> 552).
If you want to tackle the side quest, first load the quest in Ultimate, then proceed from the Lab to Pioneer 2 and talk to the NPC in the room across from the Lab warp. Note that you must have the consent of all of your teammates before you can accept the side quest. Your teammates give consent to start the side quest by standing next to the NPC. If you do not want to play the side quest, simply do not enter the NPC's room, and your teammates will not be able to force you to play the new difficulty setting. Additionally, you can only enable the bonus difficulty at the beginning of the quest. If any player teleports down to Ragol before you have enabled Super Hard, the entire team is disqualified from accepting the side quest, and you will not be able to activate it (until you load the quest again).
If you find any bugs with the quest, please report them in this thread.
In the words of Natasha Milarose,